Fitness expert Donna Richardson Joyner knows that you need to be inspired to get in shape. Her video, “Body Gospel,” was the number one selling inspirational fitness video. And speaking to just how buff she is, she’s also appeared in the bestselling “Buns of Steel” video. In addition, Joyner is the only member on the President’s Council for Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition to serve under President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, and she is an ambassador for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Initiative.
Her work extends beyond Washington DC. Joyner was a fitness expert on the NBC Weekend Today Show and ESPN Fitness Pros, and produced and hosted Donna Richardson Joyner: Mind, Body and Spirit. As a result of her many accomplishments, The Oprah Winfrey Show selected her as one of the Top Five Fitness Video Instructors, and Essence magazine named her one of the 25 most inspiring women in America.
We caught up with Joyner as she was promoting her new book, Witness to Fitness: Pumped Up! Powered Up! All Things are Possible, to talk about this latest project and get exclusive health tips for our Madame Noire readers.
Madame Noire: What makes this book unique from other fitness and workout books?
Donna Richardson Joyner: It’s not just about looking good, it is spiritual, mental and emotional. I witnessed too many loved ones go to heaven way too soon, suffering and dying at an early age because of preventable illness. Also, many of us know better but don’t do better. We’re prisoners of our own health. So I wanted to say, “We need to be a witness, and take an active role in being whole in mind, body and spirit.”
There is a disconnect between mind, body and spirit. I want you to be good and do good. It wouldn’t matter if I helped you to get a great body if your heart is hardened, because all people would see is your spirit.
MN: The book is also packed with information, including meal plans, exercises, and inspirational stories.
DRJ: I wanted to provide everything that a person needs to be successful. That’s why the daily meal plans have simple, delicious recipes and the daily workouts include instructions and photographs of me performing the exercises. In addition, I provide daily scriptures, success stories, and even a song suggestion for each day. I’m bringing together food, faith, and fitness!